If our goal is to keep our fish happy and healthy, then you’ll need to be sure that you keep their home nice, neat and clean. Creating an optimal environment for your fish is vital to their long term health – and your enjoyment of them. Today, we’re going to discuss the things that you’ll need to do when it comes to cleaning your fish tank. Let’s jump right in.
Determining how much water needs to be changed
It’s probably best to change at least 25 to 50% of the water in your aquarium every other week. Before you make that decision though, be sure you get an idea of what the bioload of the tank is. What do we mean by that? What we mean is that the water’s phosphate and nitrate levels need to be where they’re supposed to be. The more they’re not at the levels they should be at, the more water you’ll need to change in the tank. You can pick up affordable testing kits at your local pet shop that will not only tell you how to do this, but give you an idea of precisely the kinds of levels you should be looking for.
Prepping your water
Tap water can contain a lot of unwanted substances like metals, chlorine and other toxins that can be harmful to your fish. In addition, the water temperature might not be where it needs to be. To avoid this, we recommend actually drawing your water the night before, add some water conditioner (you can get this at any pet store) and let it sit for a night. By the next day, it should be ready to use in your aquarium.
Scrubbing the tank
Use an algae pad to clean both the sides of the fish tank and the decorations. Be sure that you put gloves on while you do this as doing so will protect you from any allergic reaction you may have to the substance. Never use scrubbers or sponges that you’d also use in the kitchen. Also never use bleach or boiling water to clean your tank. Many bacteria in your tank are actually beneficial to your fish’s health, so you want to make sure you’re not killing off everything in the tank. Just the bad stuff.
Siphoning the water out
Siphon your dirty aquarium water out into a dedicated bucket for your aquarium. Try to remove as much waste as you can from the gravel at the bottom. If you are using sand at the bottom of your tank, simply hold the siphon slightly above the surface enough to get suction, but not so close as to disturb the surface.
Change your filtration media
You don’t have to change your filtration every time, but doing so every other month – or at least at a point where it’s performance begins to dip – is what’s advisable. It’s largely going to depend on what kind of media you’re using; but that’s the general rule of thumb. The best way to clean your filter is to give it a rinse using the tank water in your bucket. Don’t’ ever use tap water as you’ll run the risk of getting rid of all the good bacteria inside your filter.
Once all this is done, it’ll be time to refill your tank with water. And presto! Your tank will be clean yet again and your fish will appreciate it. If you’ve got any questions on how you can do a better job maintaining your tank, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation. Until then, good luck!